4. The Langstons – Jingle All the Way
Suspend your disbelief for a moment that a man so large with such a thick Austrian accent could ever have been cast as an American everyman, and Jingle All the Way is a Christmas masterpiece. It’s got it all: slapstick comedy, an emotional climax, and a scathing indictment of the festive commercialism that poisons society for 1/12th of the year.
That said, Harold Langston is a truly terrible father. Asked by his wife to purchase the one gift his son desperately wants, Harold forgets, then decides to use the toy to win back his son’s love after failing to show up for his graduation from karate class (is that a thing? Apparently that’s a thing).
What follows is a man breaking numerous laws, committing crimes against society that further taint the magic of Christmas with each passing minute, and it’s all in the name of love.
The problem is, if Langston could express his love in a healthy way – like, say, keeping his promises and actually showing up – the film’s story would be entirely unnecessary.
Still, if Harold was actually a decent father, Jingle All the Way would have been an incredibly dull story about a man making a timely shopping trip, and then relaxing until Christmas. On second thought, we’ll take wacky hijinks any day, thanks.